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Matisyahu drops new album -- and facial hair
Reggae/hip-hop artist Matisyahu is dropping a new album Tuesday called “Spark Seeker,” his fourth studio release. But its not the only thing he has dropped.
The former White Plains resident made headlines in December 2011 when he shaved his trademark facial hair, a look that long had defined him in the eyes of the public. Matisyahu, whose real name is Matthew Miller, announced the change via a photo he posted of himself on Twitter, and the words "No more Chassidic reggae superstar," in a blog post on his website.
The artist’s physical transformation was directly influenced by the recording of “Spark Seeker.” In a letter to fans posted on his site in June, Matisyahu said: “There was a time when I felt it was necessary to show the world what I believed in through my physical appearance. I think this can be a wonderful thing, but as my faith has evolved I have come to believe there are many other ways to show my spirituality and Judaism ... During the making of this record I began to feel that I was shedding something, and with that I chose to shave.”
He spent a year recording the album with producer Kool Kojak (Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha) in Los Angeles and Israel. While abroad, the two invited a variety of musicians to collaborate on the album, including Shyne, an Orthodox Jewish rapper who converted after serving time in prison, and a former protege of Sean "Diddy" Combs, a Mount Vernon native.
Matisyahu is touring in support of “Spark Seeker,” including a stop at New York City’s Randalls Island for the Catalpa Festival on July 29. If you can’t make the trip, don’t worry -- you also score a chance to win a Matisyahu performance in your living room. From July 17 to July 31, fans who preorder or purchase can win an acoustic miniconcert from Matisyahu at their home. For more details, go to matisyahuworld.com/win.